After a successful AFC Asian Cup 2019, Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has revealed that he is finding it difficult to double up as both the senior national team and U-23 team head coach.
The South Korean coach led the Vietnam U-23s to a historic runners-up finish in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship before helping them reach the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games as well.
He then managed the senior team, which mainly comprised players from the U-23 side, to their second-ever AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 title and then, most recently, to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup 2019.
AFC Asian Cup 2019: Vietnam and their road to the quarter-finals, the story so far
Now, Park is set to shift his attention once again to the U-23 side as they begin preparations for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers. And speaking to YONHAP News Agency during his vacation in South Korea, the coach has revealed he will have to give up the U-23 duties in the near future.
“After a series of international tournaments, I felt tired,” Park told reporters at Incheon International Airport. “But we are off to a good start in 2019,” he added.
“I have to prepare for one tournament after another, and Vietnamese people are also worried about this. I may have to make my choice and focus on it,” Park said suggesting that the senior and U-23 team roles will be a lot for him to handle alone.
The South Korean tactician also added that he has let the Vietnam Football Federation know about the situation. “The Vietnam Football Federation is currently discussing this issue,” the 60-year-old said.
Suzuki Cup to blame for exit says Vietnam
Former South Korean international Park is also set to guide Vietnam against his home nation Korea Republic in the inaugural AFF-EAFF Champions Trophy — the first edition of a biennial exhibition match between the winners of the AFF Suzuki Cup and EAFF E-1 Football Championship.
“Vietnam don’t have a lot of opportunities to face teams like South Korea. Playing a match against South Korea already gives us a big experience,” said Park when quizzed about the international fixture.
Park also revealed that he had informed Vietnam’s football authorities to invest heavily in youth football if Vietnam are to make it to the World Cup.
“Some Vietnam media ask me when the country can advance to the World Cup, but this team needs a lot of time. I told the VFF that it needs to invest more in youth players who are at least 10 years younger than current members of the national team,” he said.